If you’re a regular at the Plantation Cafe on the Alameda in Menlo Park, you can’t help noticing the three women who are frequently playing Scrabble at a corner table. They’ve been getting together for about three years ago, after having met at the Cafe.
“We found out we all had a mutual interest in the game,” says Ruth Dawson (red sweater). “Scrabble is not only a word game that builds vocabulary but a strategy of math and reasoning. It’s one of the oldest and most popular games in the world.”
The setting is as important as the competition according to all three players: “The Plantation Café is like a clubhouse where the usual suspects meet practically every days,” says Ruth. “We’ve watched babies grow up, buried a few regulars, and attended weddings of friends we’ve met there.”
Adds Pat Spindt (purple turtleneck): “I’ve been a regular at the Plantation Café for 14+ years, where I have made wonderful friends. It is a great way to begin each day. The Kim family, who own and run the coffee shop, have created a warm and welcoming place that I and others consider our version of a small town diner.”
Pat admits they all have a love of words. “I’ve always been drawn to word games and puzzles,” she says. She recalls that she started playing when Ruth brought her board in one day; then Timi Most (bottom left) joined in.
“Scrabble for me is about the challenge of the game and the slowing down of my work week to enjoy a game with dear friends in a wonderful neighborhood café,” says Timi. “The Plantation Café is a special place created by the Kim family – warm and inviting. The Kim’s learn your name right away and soon know about your life and family. What could be better!”
Photo by Chris Gulker